The Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism
Author Gives Gritty Look at Life Growing Up in Central City
“Central City’s Joy and Pain: Solidarity, Survival, and Soul in a Birmingham Housing Project”: (University of Georgia Press, 2024) by Jerome E. Morris. The author will speak and sign copies of his book at the downtown Birmingham Public Library on Saturday at 11 a.m. <Jerome Morris has written...
4 Factors Besides Cold Weather That Explain Expensive Winter Power Bills
The apartment Will Burt moved into in January had everything he wanted, and then some. It’s on the top floor of his building, is a corner unit and has a killer view of downtown Birmingham. It even provided him with the perfect view of rare snow falling on Birmingham’s...
JeffCo Approves Land Sale to BJCC
Jefferson County Commissioners on Thursday approved the sale of the old Salvation Army Building on Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority. BJCC’s executive director has said the property could be redeveloped or used for parking. The commission, which discussed the sale Tuesday, approved the deal...
Sheriff Pitches for Higher Salaries to Keep Officers With the County
Sheriff Mark Pettway made an early appeal to the Jefferson County Commission to consider allotting more money to his department to help keep deputies from leaving for other agencies in the area. Pettway was at the commission meeting Thursday to accept an Alabama People Against a Littered State Governor’s Award...
JeffCo Commission to Consider Selling Property for BJCC Use
The Jefferson County Commission is expected to jettison the old Salvation Army Building on Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard, selling it to the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority, during its meeting Thursday. “The county was looking to sell the surplus property,” BJCC Executive Director and CEO Tad Snider said in an interview....
Birmingham Council Expresses Sympathy for Shooting Victims, Including Mayor’s Pregnant Cousin
The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday passed a resolution expressing sympathies for six people killed in recent shootings. The victims included a city employee as well as the pregnant cousin of Mayor Randall Woodfin. In his comments to the council Tuesday, the mayor expressed his frustration with the lack of...
Democrats Name Nominee in Jefferson County Treasurer Race
After some spirited debate and two rounds of balloting, the Executive Committee of the Jefferson County Democratic Party left the Five Points West Library on Saturday with its nominee for county treasurer in the November general election. Angela Webb-Weinberg outpolled LaShunta White Boler and former treasurer Mike Miles. Webb-Weinberg was...
How Birmingham Reflects an Entwined Struggle for Civil and Labor Rights
Most people are familiar with the 1963 March on Washington and the “I Have a Dream” speech Martin Luther King Jr. delivered at that event. Fewer know the full name of the gathering — the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — or that the event focused on economic as well as civil rights.
How Jefferson County Pulled Off a Billion-Dollar Refinancing to Help Stabilize Sewer Rates and Regain Trust
Jimmie Stephens remembers he wasn’t proud of Jefferson County when he took office as a county commissioner in 2010. “I was embarrassed and ashamed of what Jefferson County had become and what its reputation was, in the state and in the nation,” recalled Stephens, now the president of the commission.
Birmingham Council to Sell Old Scott Elementary, Nearby Community Center to Group to Establish a Community Health Center
The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday voted to sell the old Scott Elementary School and a neighboring community center to a group planning a health clinic at the property. The measure passed despite some pushback from community members. Under the agreement, the city will sell the old school as well...
Balance in Journalism Is Good … Until It Isn’t
“Why the age issue is hurting Biden so much more than Trump” (New York Times, Feb. 10) “Public equally concerned about Biden’s and Trump’s classified documents, new poll finds” (com, Jan. 29) In politics, public perceptions like these arise because many people magnify events that support...
How Racism Flooded Alabama’s Historically Black Shiloh Community
SHILOH COMMUNITY —If it’s been raining, the kids bring two pairs of shoes to the bus stop. One pair is for before school—for the trek through high water in the historically Black Shiloh community in Coffee County, Alabama. “They roll their pants legs up, too,” said Otis...
‘Don’t let a pandemic go to waste:’ Y Leader Says COVID Shone a Spotlight on Community Needs
Despite speaking on Super Bowl Sunday, Dan Pile chose not to say the Northeast YMCA will be a “Super Y” after a major redevelopment on that Roebuck campus. His hope, Pile said, is that the redevelopment will be the new norm, the standard for all YMCAs. “Actually, what...
Birmingham Mounts Full Court Press to Get Third Graders Up to Reading Level
Birmingham City officials are beginning a full court press to get all third graders reading on grade level or proficiency by the end of the year. “This is it everybody,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin in an interview last week. “The test is less than 90 days away, and every third grader in the state of Alabama, including the 1,300-plus third graders in Birmingham City Schools will take this test.”
Violent Crime Down Slightly for This Year So Far but Car Thefts Soar
Crime in Birmingham is running behind last year’s rate, at least for most crimes. Auto thefts are up more than 30% year to date over last year’s numbers, 170 already this year compared to 129 this time last year, according to this week’s crime summary released by the Birmingham Police Department. On the other hand, there have been three fewer murders so far this year compared to this time last year, with seven.
JeffCo Commission OKs $1.87M for Y With Comprehensive Community Services
The Jefferson County Commission today provided $1.87 million to fill in the gap in the YMCA’s revitalization project for its Roebuck Community facility. Inflation created the nearly $2 million shortfall in the plan to build a new, comprehensive center. The commission filled that gap using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Ethics Commission Ruling Keeps Parker, Allen Off Ballot for Treasurer
The Alabama Ethics Commission ruled this week that persons who were removed from the ballot of the March 5 primary cannot be their party’s nominee in the general election. That ruling means the Jefferson County Democratic Party cannot nominate incumbent Eyrika Parker or challenger Mara Ruffin Allen to be the party’s candidate for Jefferson County treasurer.
Birmingham Council Approves Roundabout on Blue Lake Drive, Pavilion for Howze-Stanford Park
The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday approved an agreement with neighboring municipalities that will see a roundabout installed on Blue Lake Drive near the Historic Cahaba Pumping Station. The roundabout will be built where Blue Lake Drive intersects with Cahaba Heights Road and Sicard Hollow Road, just northeast of the...
JeffCo to Consider Funding for Roebuck Y With Comprehensive Community Services
Jefferson County Commissioners on Tuesday decided to send a resolution to Thursday’s agenda that would provide ARPA funds to fill in the gap in the YMCA’s revitalization project for its Roebuck Community facility. YMCA President and CEO Dan Pile said inflation left the Y with a $1.87 million...
How Birmingham City School Students Recovered Pandemic Learning Loss
Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Mark Sullivan expected to see reading scores decline after the pandemic. When he saw the first results in coming out of the pandemic, he was relieved to see student reading did not fall as much as he expected. “But the math scores plummeted,” he said.
The Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism
The Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism is a non-profit, non-partisan organization serving the civic good of Birmingham and Alabama by supporting journalism that makes a difference and citizen engagement with news that is fair, factual, unflinching and focused on important matters.